Ofcom has started a consultation on the regulation of music in local analogue commercial radio Formats.
The radio regulator is wanting opinions from the industry to see if there should be a) No change to Formats, b) Simplification of the Formats of stations playing “mainstream popular music” or c) Ofcom could allow licensees to request to change the music element of their Format to be either Genre led or Audience led.
The review excludes national commercial stations Classic FM, talkSPORT and Absolute Radio, along with community radio and DAB services.
Ofcom has a statutory duty to ensure a range and diversity of local radio services, and at the moment, a wide range of different descriptions are used in radio Formats to specify the selection of music: from popular music, to specific genres and the target age range for the service.
Ofcom last year published a ‘Call for Inputs’, seeking preliminary views on the description of music in radio Formats.
The responses received expressed different opinions on the effect of market changes; the need for services to have greater flexibility in music selection; and whether a change to the current regulatory approach was feasible or desirable.
The full consultation document can be found here, and the closing date is April 2nd 2015.